Changing Your Clothes

Shopping, Sewing, Upcycling, Repairing: Make the most of your clothes!

Packing ORDer (and a minor emergency)


You’ve heard my original plan for my Chicago (ORD) wardrobe, seen the color palette I developed for it, and how that palette translates into fabrics, as well as clothes and accessories already in my closet. And now, on my last day of preparation, I can at least show you what I’ve been working on for the past 6 planning-and-sewing-filled days. (This will be in the nature of a briefing— emphasis on brief— with many more details to follow after I get home.)

After working out this color palette, my next move was to decide which garments to make with which fabrics.

My new ORDer palette

My new ORDer palette. Click on the palette to see it on my ColourLovers page.

Here are some of the possibilities (there are links to the patterns in the caption):

Fabrics and patterns

Fabrics and patterns: potential pairings. 1. Asymmetrical top (Butterick 5856), lower left version. 2. Tulip skirt (Vogue 8711), longer version. 3 & 4. Dress with overlapping tiers (Vogue 8904), longer version, shown with 2 possible fabric groupings.

Believe it or not (I can hardly believe it, actually), I’ve made all three of these garments since last Tuesday! Here they are:

ORD garments I sewed

ORD garments I sewed this week. 1. Asymmetrical top made with emerald bamboo knit and charcoal ponte knit (same as skirt). 2. Simplified version of tiered dress, made with textured ultramarine knit and iridescent sequinned knit, lined with citron knit. 3. Tulip skirt, made with charcoal ponte knit.


1. This top pattern is unique in that it calls for a combination of knit and woven fabrics. In the version I made, the woven part is supposed to be the narrow contrast band, but I decided to make mine with the same charcoal knit fabric as the skirt; it’s a stable (not very stretchy) knit, so I thought it would work well, as long as I cut those pieces to a smaller size to compensate for the woven-fabric ease built into the original pattern.

2. Ah, the dress! I decided to simplify all those tiers into a single big one (plus the peek of sequins at the bottom), primarily to showcase the unusually-textured ultramarine fabric — and to save time, frankly. The pattern has a base that the tiers are sewn onto, so I made this base with the citron stretch fabric, and also decided to make a high slit on one side (for tango, don’t you know). The neck and slit edges are bound with the same citron knit, and the armholes are bound with the bamboo knit I used for the asymmetrical top.

3. Although I’m showing you the skirt as it’s shown in the pattern, with the overlapping parts in front, I’ve actually decided I like it better when I wear it backwards; I have a curvy tush, so this is quite flattering, and I also like that, from the front, it looks like a simple, just-below-the-knee pencil skirt, with —surprise!— all that curviness going on in back (also great for tango). Other than that, I made this pattern as it was intended.

And here’s how these new garments fit into my ORD wardrobe:

ORD wardrobe

ORD wardrobe. Clockwise from left: dress, print knit top, emerald/charcoal knit top, charcoal knit top, kimono sweater, linen trousers, charcoal knit skirt, jeans. (Of these, I made all but the print top and jeans!)

And after making a simple scarf with my gorgeous chartreuse silk georgette, cropping my jeans (see this tutorial next week on Makeover Monday), and adding accessories, here’s my nearly-ready wardrobe:

Wardrobe with accessories

Wardrobe with accessories. In addition to the garments I’ve sewn this week, I’ve also cropped the jeans and made the chartreuse silk scarf (upper left), which can be worn with any outfit in this wardrobe, adding not only vibrant color but luxury! (Note: I’m showing this group without the charcoal skirt, because I was toying with the idea of omitting it, thinking that it looked too dark and heavy for a summer wardrobe. It’s back in now.)

But wait… what’s this? I just looked more closely at the print top, and found several tiny holes scattered all over it, as if a Lilliputian moth (with a strange taste for viscose) had been at work. Aaargh… I really want something printed in this wardrobe! But what I can do at this point?

Must dash— I’ll let you know how (or if) I manage to resolve this wardrobe emergency. Wish me luck!

And don’t miss this week’s Thrift-Shop Thursday, when I’ll give you a preview of a project that combines 2 long skirts and a thrift-shop silk knit top into a fun dance dress with a trendy high-low hemline! (I’ll post the full tutorial after I’m back in town.)

Author: Colormusing

I'm a writer, color palette creator, and designer of fashion, lingerie, graphics, knitwear patterns, and yarn.

10 thoughts on “Packing ORDer (and a minor emergency)

  1. Such a fantastic idea! Have fun in Chicago with all your new clothes.

    • Thank you so much! I’ll be following up after I get back with lots more details on how it all worked (or didn’t), including what I wore when. Should be fun!

  2. Oh, you always blow me away with your creations… (and it is so like you to find imperfections with them, too).


    XOXO Nensi

    • Thank you, Nensi!! It’s not that I’m looking for imperfections, but I don’t want it to seem like I always do everything perfectly either, you know? (I certainly learn more from my mistakes.)

  3. Wow – impressive – you are certainly a sewing “machine” (couldn’t resist the pun!) and I love the color palette!

    • Merci, Kim, and whatever the French equivalent of LOL is!! I’m keeping track of what I’m actually wearing while on this trip, so I can report later on how my wardrobe worked. (So far, so good.)

  4. Pingback: Thrift-Shop Thursday: Top Off a Dress! | Changing Your Clothes

  5. Pingback: Chicago Travel Wardrobe: A Follow-up (or 3) is in ORDer | Changing Your Clothes

  6. Pingback: Chicago Travel Wardrobe: Follow-up #2 (in ORDer) | Changing Your Clothes

  7. Pingback: Chicago Wardrobe Follow-up #4: My Mom’s Edition! | Changing Your Clothes

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